By Jerry Cornfield, Herald Columnist
Clint Didier is going to vote for Dino Rossi.
But he’s still not endorsing him.
Not today nor tomorrow though it could happen before the November election — if Rossi comes to his Republican senses.
“I want Dino to win in the worst way,” Didier told me Friday. “It’s not that I wouldn’t endorse him. I will endorse him but he has to try and reach out to my voters.”
Two weeks ago, Didier conditioned an endorsement on Rossi signing a pledge to not raise taxes, promising to vote against any measure to increase federal spending, and agreeing to introduce the Sanctity of Life Act that would prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from ruling state abortion restrictions unconstitutional.
This week, the ex-pro football player said he’ll issue a statement reiterating reasons for his demands. He’ll also be responding to Republicans who’ve said his behavior is unsportsmanlike and may harm Rossi’s chances.
“I’m taking all this heat and criticism and all I’m fighting for is the very platform that we stand for. Everything I’ve asked him to sign is the heart and soul of our platform,” Didier said.
“If (Republicans are) just trying to replace Patty Murray with just anybody, we’d better be sure what that anybody is all about,” he said.
Though Didier doesn’t think Rossi is a worse choice than Murray, his words and his tone will make a few Republican leaders wince.
They’ve appreciated Didier dropping off the radar the last two weeks and now may feel compelled to restart their not-so-quiet campaign to cast Didier as nothing more than a disappointed first-time candidate whose demands should be disregarded.
That won’t sit well with some of the 185,000 people who voted for him.
As much as anyone this year, Didier embodied the frustration, anxiety and anger coursing through their veins. Their passions didn’t subside when Didier finished third in the primary with 13 percent, trailing Murray with 46 percent followed by Rossi with 33 percent.
Didier always faced a difficult task because the state’s top-two primary system gives independent voters — those with the least party affectations — decisive power in determining contests. Didier had been warned of the outcome soon after Rossi entered the race at the last minute.
He ignored suggestions to pull out and now, despite losing, he won’t go away because he feels Rossi and the party honchos disrespected him and his followers along the way.
Didier and Rossi last spoke on Aug. 19 and that didn’t go well. He has not talked with party chairman Luke Esser since the election — though attempts were made up until the endorsement demands went out.
Since then, there’s been no attempts at contact in either direction.
Didier won’t be surprised if the silent treatment continues as Rasmussen Reports released a poll this week showing Rossi ahead of Murray.
“They’ve got confidence they don’t need me,” he said. “Yet there may be 185,000 people who feel disrespected because (Rossi) won’t listen to them.”
But Rossi doesn’t need to as long as they all do like Didier and vote for him.
Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.